23 SES 08 B, Adult Education Policies and Practices
The transition from an industrial to a knowledge-based society and the increasing need for a short-time adjustment of knowledge, competences and self-management skills is challenging education and lifelong learning structures - from the early-childhood to the retirement phase. Education has to give responsive and structural answers to these challenges. In the debate on the most promising approaches for the modernisation of education and the development of lifelong learning structures, the social innovation concept is becoming more and more prominent.
The continuous improvement of education is the key challenge for European societies and the global world. Education and training, or from a European perspective better summarised under the more comprehensive Lifelong Learning (LLL) strategy, “have a fundamental role to play in achieving the Europe 2020 objectives” (European Council 2011) as well as to deliver competences to manage social change. Educational strategies do not only focus on the knowledge society to foster European competiveness, but also on the reduction of poverty and the improvement of social inclusion. This might be the case also from a global perspective, especially education in developing countries, focusing on social innovation on access to education, inequality, education and women, alphabetisation and others.
Both in Europe and globally, the concept of social innovation is becoming increasingly evident in policy, scientific and public debates. We define social innovation as a new combination or figuration of practices in areas of social action, prompted by certain actors or constellations of actors with the goal of better coping with needs and problems than is possible by using existing practices. An innovation is therefore social to the extent that it varies social action, and is socially accepted and diffused in society (cf. Howaldt/Butzin/Domanski/Kaletka 2014).
There is a growing consensus among practitioners, policy makers, the research community and others that widespread social innovation is required to cope with the significant challenges that societies are facing now and in the future, and education is one of the main and fundamental global and European challenges. The EU funded project SI-DRIVE (www.si-drive.eu) will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of how social innovations occur and under which conditions they lead to social change. One of the key objectives is to determine the nature, characteristics and impacts of social innovation as key elements of a new paradigm of innovation and to identify success factors and also drivers and barriers of social innovations in seven policy areas, including education.
Analysing the relation between social innovation and social change, the main focus of the policy field education is on research on social innovation processes for the implementation of new educational structures within the European concept of improving Lifelong Learning. From a perspective of global comparison different priorities might be set in other global areas, but all in all improving education has to be seen as the ground to overcome economic and social changes, and to assure social cohesion and economic growth.
The main research questions are
- What is the context of social innovation in education and lifelong learning?
- What is the structure of actor-networks in concrete social innovation processes of education?
- What is the relation between European and national education and lifelong learning policies on the one hand and regional-local implementation on the other hand, including support and policy structures?
- In how far do social innovations in education and lifelong learning having already up-scaled impact on systemic change?
- What are social innovation prototypes and clusters of education and lifelong learning within different European regions?
- What are important coordination models and platforms for education and lifelong learning?
Howaldt, J. & Schwarz, M. (2010). Social Innovation: Concepts, research fields and international trends. IMO international monitoring. Aachen. Retrieved from http://www.sfs.tu-dortmund.de/odb/Repository/Publication/Doc/1289/IMO_Trendstudie_Howaldt_Schwarz_englische_Version.pdf Franz, H.-W., Hochgerner, J., & Howaldt, J. (2012). Challenge social innovation. Potentials for Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Welfare and Civil Society. Berlin, New York: Springer. Howaldt, J., Kopp, R., & Schwarz, M. (2013). Social innovations as drivers of social change – Tarde's disregarded contribution to social innovation theory building. Retrieved from http://de.scribd.com/doc/191799115/Social-innovations-as-drivers-of-social-change-%E2%80%93-Tarde%E2%80%99s-disregarded-contribution-to-social-innovation-theory-building European Commission. (2013). Social Innovation Research in the European Union. Approaches, findings and future directions. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/social_innovation.pdf Howaldt, J., Butzin, A., Domanski, D., & Kaletka, C. (2014). Theoretical Approaches to Social Innovation - A Critical Literature Review. A deliverable of the project: ‘Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change’ (SI-DRIVE). Dortmund: Sozialforschungsstelle. Moulaert, F., MacCallum, D., Mehmood, A., & Hamdouch, A. (2013). The International Handbook on Social innovation. Collective action, social learning and transdisciplinary research. Cheltenham: Elgar. Tarde, G. (1903). The law of imitation. New York: Henry Holt and Company. Murray, R., Caulier-Grice, J., & Mulgan, G. (2010). The Open Book of Social Innovation. London: Nesta. Schröder, A. (2012). Implementing Innovative Structures to Improve Lifelong Learning - A Social Innovation Process. The Example HESSENCAMPUS CSI Discussion Paper, Nr. 28, Vienna: Centre for Social Innovation (self-publishing). Howaldt, J., Butzin, A., Domanski, D., & Kaletka, C. (2014). Theoretical Approaches to Social Innovation - A Critical Literature Review. A deliverable of the project: ‘Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change’ (SI-DRIVE). Dortmund: TU Dortmund, Sozialforschungsstelle. LLL2010 (2011). Final Integrated Report: Towards lifelong learning society in Europe: The contribution of the education system. Working Paper 77. Project Report 6.
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